Colts ring in new season with familiar foe

May 15—INDIANAPOLIS — The 2024 season will begin for the Indianapolis Colts in exactly the same fashion the 2023 season finished.

The Colts will host the AFC South-champion Houston Texas on Sept. 8, looking to avenge a 23-19 loss on Jan. 6 that cost Indianapolis a playoff berth and has served as motivation throughout the offseason.

It will also serve as an early measuring stick for a young Colts team with high aspirations.

"Now it's time for us to put some banners up," linebacker Zaire Franklin said at the start of offseason workouts in April. "It's time for us to accomplish something. We've gotta leave here with something other than good memories."

It'll be the second straight home opener for Indianapolis and the third time the Colts have started the regular season at Lucas Oil Stadium in the past four years.

Indianapolis hasn't won in Week 1 since 2013. Last year opened with a 31-21 loss at home against the then reigning AFC South-champion Jacksonville Jaguars.

In addition to that streak, the Colts also will attempt to win their first division title since 2014 and qualify for the postseason for the first time since 2020.

They are scheduled to play on "Sunday Night Football" for the first time since 2022, with a Nov. 17 date against the New York Jets slated for the NFL's weekly showcase.

Indianapolis opens with three home games in the first four weeks then hits the road for six of their next nine games before the bye week on Dec. 8.

The only time the Colts will play consecutive home games comes in Weeks 3 and 4 when they host No. 1 overall draft pick Caleb Williams and the Chicago Bears on Sept. 22 and the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sept. 29.

They'll play road games in back-to-back weeks twice.

Indianapolis travels to Jacksonville on Oct. 6 and visits the Tennessee Titans on Oct. 13 as part of a stretch that will see the Colts play four of their six division games before Halloween.

The second set of back-to-back road trips also features a division opponent with Indianapolis completing the season series against the Texans on Oct. 27 before traveling to face the Minnesota Vikings on Nov. 3.

The Colts also will play consecutive road games on either side of the bye week, facing the New England Patriots on Dec. 1 and the Denver Broncos on Dec. 15.

The first road trip is against the Green Bay Packers on Sept. 15, and the final road trip will be in Week 17 against the New York Giants. The time and date for that game is to be determined.

The Colts host the Titans on Dec. 22 and the Jaguars in Week 18 to close the season. The home date with Jacksonville — like all games in the final week — also has a time and date to be determined.

Indianapolis' three remaining home games will come against the Miami Dolphins on Oct. 20, the Buffalo Bills on Nov. 10 and the Detroit Lions on Nov. 24.

The Colts will host the Broncos to open the preseason on Aug. 11 at 1 p.m. in a rare exhibition game between opponents that also will meet in the regular season.

The Arizona Cardinals will visit Aug. 17 for a 7 p.m. kickoff, and the preseason concludes on the road against the Cincinnati Bengals on Aug. 22 at 8 p.m. on Amazon Prime.

Broadcast information for the exhibition home games will be announced at a later date.